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UPIKE-KYCO faculty inducted into National Academies of Practice

April 25, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Donald J. Egan, O.D., FAAO, professor and associate dean of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO), was inducted into the prestigious National Academies of Practice (NAP) during the organization’s annual meeting held this year in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1981, NAP is an interdisciplinary, nonprofit organization with membership representing 14 health care professions willing to serve as distinguished advisors to health care policy makers in Congress and elsewhere. The 14 academies of practice within the NAP include audiology, dentistry, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatric medicine, psychology, social work, speech-language pathology and veterinary medicine. Membership in NAP is an honor extended to those who have excelled in their profession and are dedicated to furthering practice, scholarship and policy in support of interprofessional care. The central purpose of NAP is to advise public policy makers on health care issues using NAP’s unique perspective—that of expert practitioners and scholars joined in interdisciplinary dialogue.

Egan joined KYCO as a founding member of the administration and as part of the executive council for the optometry school. He also has teaching responsibilities that include contact lenses and primary care optometry. His career includes more than 100 professional publications, posters and speaking engagements.

Egan received his doctorate of optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Following graduation, he completed a post-doctoral residency program in clinical optometry at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry after which he continued as a member of their faculty. Subsequently, he became a founding faculty member and administrator at two other new optometry programs—the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Western University of Health Sciences. While at UM-St. Louis he also developed the resident and ophthalmic technician programs at St. Louis University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology.

His lifelong passion for teaching has also included a position as a hospital-based optometrist at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., instructing both ophthalmology residents and technical staff. This helped to mold his interdisciplinary approach to improving access for unmet needs to unserved and underserved populations like the Hispanic population while at Western University in Southern California and now the Appalachian population in rural Kentucky. Egan regularly serves as a volunteer within the community providing optometric services in places such as Haiti and Jamaica, as well as Remote Access Medicine, CareForce and Lion’s Club clinics. In addition, he has served as a voting member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Ophthalmic Devices Panel.

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. The American Council for Optometric Education has granted the Kentucky College of Optometry the pre-accreditation classification of “Preliminary Approval.” The University of Pikeville is the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. Construction was recently completed on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class for a total of 240. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country. 

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